Etymology
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passing (adv.)

"in a (sur)passing degree, surpassingly," late 14c.; from passing (adj); see pass (v.).

passing (n.)

"death," 1869, a euphemistic verbal noun from pass (v.) in such Middle English phrases as passing of death, passing of the soul (c. 1300). A passing-bell (1520s) was a church bell tolled at the time of a person's death.

passing (adj.)

mid-14c., "transitory;" late 14c., "going by," present-participle adjective from pass (v.). Also from late 14c. as "surpassing, excellent," and "casual, superficial, cursory, as though done in passing." Related: Passingly.

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Definitions of passing
1
passing (n.)
(American football) a play that involves one player throwing the ball to a teammate;
the coach sent in a passing play on third and long
Synonyms: pass / passing play / passing game
passing (n.)
euphemistic expressions for death;
thousands mourned his passing
Synonyms: loss / departure / exit / expiration / going / release
passing (n.)
the motion of one object relative to another;
stellar passings can perturb the orbits of comets
Synonyms: passage
passing (n.)
the end of something;
the passing of winter
passing (n.)
a bodily reaction of changing from one place or stage to another;
the passing of flatus
Synonyms: passage
passing (n.)
going by something that is moving in order to get in front of it;
she drove but well but her reckless passing of every car on the road frightened me
Synonyms: overtaking
passing (n.)
success in satisfying a test or requirement;
his future depended on his passing that test
Synonyms: pass / qualifying
2
passing (adj.)
of advancing the ball by throwing it;
a team with a good passing attack
Synonyms: pass
passing (adj.)
allowing you to pass (e.g., an examination or inspection) satisfactorily;
a passing grade
passing (adj.)
hasty and without attention to detail; not thorough;
a passing glance
passing (adj.)
lasting a very short time;
a passing fancy
3
passing (adv.)
to an extraordinary degree; "I will mention only one particular aspect of the current mess because ... this one is surely something new and passing strange"--Walker Percy;
Synonyms: surpassingly
From wordnet.princeton.edu